An Ohio professor apologized, saying he would devote himself to “anti racist learning” after receiving criticism for an article he co-authored about college football.

Professor and program chair at The Ohio State University Matthew J. Mayhew apologized in an Inside Higher Ed article for his “disconnected whiteness” after reportedly receiving backlash for a previous piece published by the same outlet that said college football can help unite the country.

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“I am sorry for the hurt, sadness, frustration, fatigue, exhaustion and pain this article has caused anyone, but specifically Black students in the higher education community and beyond,” Mayhew wrote.

He said in his apology that he learned from his students and other academics around the country that parts of his case for college football as a “distraction” from political division were “harmful.”

“Black men putting their bodies on the line for my enjoyment is inspired and maintained by my uninformed and disconnected whiteness and, as written in my previous article, positions student athletes as white property,” he said.

“Words like ‘distraction’ and ‘cheer’ erase the present painful moments within the nation and especially the Black community.”

Mayhew and Musbah Shaheen, a Ph.D. student at Ohio State and a research assistant at the College Impact Laboratory, wrote in the original article that college football could unite America during contentious political times.

“Essentializing college football might help get us through these uncharacteristically difficult times of great isolation, division and uncertainty,” they said.

“Indeed, college football holds a special bipartisan place in the American heart.”

The Ohio State University and Mayhew did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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